After eight years of leading the Target business, Dayton returned to the corporate headquarters when his family owned department business merged with the J.L. Hudson Company in 1969 to form Dayton Hudson. After spending several years as a senior vice president there, Dayton retired in 1974. But the groundwork Dayton laid for Target helped establish a brand identity and unique value proposition that allowed the retailer to flourish.
Dayton was the youngest of five brothers who joined his father’s department store business after being wounded in combat during World War II. Dayton is survived by his wife Wendy, his four children and six grandchildren.